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Tales From Two Countries - The Place Branding of Denmark and Singapore

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Place branding has become popular. Places brand themselves to attract tourists, talented foreign workers, investments and businesses. The brand accentuates the positive characteristics of the place; it frames the society and sells its cultures. In the context of tourism, this paper examines the branding strategies of two very different countries – Denmark and Singapore. In Singapore, the convergence between the brand message and the place reality is frequently engineered by creating new brand-related products. In Denmark, the brand tries to communicate an existing local reality; it wants to present a prevailing reality. To the Danes, the brand is descriptive and should portray the country in a positive and accurate manner. To the Singaporeans, the brand is normative and a vision of what Singaporean society ought to become. These countries share common goals when branding themselves but their branding strategies are different, why? This paper situates their strategic differences in the local social, cultural and political context. Although country branding is externally directed, domestic politics and mechanisms of local control affect how the country can brand itself. Keywords: place branding, branding strategies, Denmark, Singapore, tourism, destination

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Can-Seng Ooi

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